by Chris Welsh
NESS is a Del Toro/Lovecraft-inspired cosmic horror story set on the shores of Loch Ness. A big, scary monster movie in comic form.
About this project
UPDATE: Here’s a look at the ART CARDS, available as a reward. Featuring art by Rob Carey, Gav Mitchell, and photoshop silliness by Ian Nesbit.
Important: If you grab a paper copy of the book, you’ll get a digital version too. (That isn’t very clear from the rewards section, sorry!)
NESS is a four-part, full colour comic miniseries set in Scotland, on the world-famous shores of Loch Ness. It has monsters, action, adventure, scares, creepy bad guys, a good dose of Lovecraftian cosmic horror, and a lot of twisted Scottish mythology.
I wanted to give the UK its very own giant monster (Japan has Godzilla, America has Cloverfield and, er, sometimes Godzilla…) because giant monsters are endlessly fascinating to me. Where better to set the story than the home of everyone’s favourite cryptozoological creature, the Loch Ness Monster?
Loch Ness is one of the most inspiring places I’ve ever been. It’s an excellent location and I’m excited to set a story there. Real-world buildings and areas will show up in the story, though some bits have been invented/adapted.
This Kickstarter is to fund the first issue (which is 22 pages of story + pin up gallery and extras). If it goes well, we’re all prepped and ready to start on Issue #2.
Here’s the ‘Original’ cover:
(Scroll down to read the PREVIEW on this page, in the PREVIEW section)
NESS is the story of CEIT and her friends on a trip to the Loch to scatter the ashes of Ceit’s late mother. They just so happen to arrive the morning after the Loch’s final protector is killed by one of the many beasts he and his small tribe have been warding off. He was the last member of a local cult dedicated to keeping the monsters in check, and with him and his kind now gone, the things that lurk in the deep, dark waters, and hide in the surrounding hills, are free to run riot…
In Issue One we see the strange creatures testing the waters, as it were, and venturing out onto land. Causing havoc and terrifying the locals… scaring them so much, in fact, they consider their only option to be a worthy human sacrifice… and who better than the group of young adults who’ve just wandered into town?
Issue Two (and Three, and Four) will see the group encountering more monsters, meeting almost-friendly faces taken from Scottish myth and folklore, and uncovering a plan to ultimately… well, that’s all stuff for the later issues. No spoilers.
(But we promise it’s worth waiting for).
Ness is about…
- And lots of scary monsters.
- A Lovecraft influence to the story.
- A Del Toro influence to the design.
- A mysterious woman that collects the clothes of the dead.
- An amulet.
- A sacred book.
- And, er, lots of scary monsters.
That’s the preview! Rob Carey is working on new pages now, which I’ll post here as they come in. (They’ll be uncoloured, unlettered, but you’ll get the gist.)
Funds raised by the Kickstarter will go towards finishing the inks, colours, lettering, printing, Kickstarter’s fees, producing the rewards, and posting it all out to you.
(Note: All pages are still a work in progress, and may change slightly between now and print).
(NOT READY YET – TO BE REVEALED SOON!)
PLUS POTENTIALLY A COUPLE MORE! Which will be confirmed and revealed incredibly soon. Exciting.
- £2600. At that point, everyone will receive a custom tourist map of Loch Ness showing important locations mentioned in the story. A real cool bit of fake memorabilia. (All postal backers will receive a physical poster, all digital backers will receive a PDF.)
After that, I’ll announce more… including new rewards for everyone (around £3000), bonuses for the art team (around £3500), and other rad stuff (around £3800). Until we hit…
- £4200. Tom Ward (of Merrick The Sensational Elephant Man) is going to pen a short comic story set in the NESS universe, expanding on one of the plot points in Issue 1. He’s been bugging me about it so I figured I should let him. He’s alright. (If we get close, we’ll announce an art team). This will be released digitally to all backers.
If we go higher than that, then I’ll put some thought into something else that’ll blow your socks clean off. Until then, I’ll keep quiet and not tempt fate…
Kickstarter is ace. Used correctly, it’s an incredible tool for creators and fans alike. We want to make stuff, and you fine folks decide if it looks good enough or not. Hopefully you’ll like it enough to kick some funds our way and we can go on to finish this book. It’s also A LOT OF FUN. Coming up with the rewards and generally interacting with everyone is a blast. I’ve used Kickstarter for other projects (WART and DOC DINO) and deeply value the connections I’ve made through those campaigns. Now I’m hoping to take that experience and know-how to fund this four-part series about big monsters at Loch Ness. It’s probably the best thing I’ve ever written (so far…), I’m super proud of it, and the whole art team is doing amazing work – with your help, we can make this a real thing, which I wouldn’t be able to do on my own. That’s exciting. I’m excited.
Chris Welsh – Chris is a comic/screenplay writer who co-created WART, DOC DINO and is now responsible for NESS. No one has produced any of his screenplays. YET. He lives in Liverpool, England with his beloved laptop and too many books. He drinks rum. @C_W_Writes
Robert Carey – Rob is an illustrator from Dublin, Ireland and has worked on a variety of projects, including comics published in Lightning Strike anthology, North Bend, The Life and Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, and Afterworld. @Mansloth
Dee Cunniffe – Dee has worked for nearly every publisher as a flatter/colour assistant to some of the world’s top colour artists. Recent credits include The Wicked + The Divine and ODY-C.@Deezoid
Robin Jones – Rob Jones is a British comic writer, part of the publishing misfits Madius Comics,and letterer. He is always the nominee, never the winner, and the proud owner of both of his kneecaps. You can find him on Facebook at his lettering page RobJonesLetters, or harrass him on Twitter at: @RobJonesWrites
Special thanks to James McCulloch, a real life Scottish gent who went through the dialogue for me and made sure it was reasonably authentic.
HEY LOOK! SUPPORTIVE QUOTES FROM EXCELLENT COMIC PEOPLE!
“If the superb writing and beautiful art weren’t enough to convince you, it’s got ancient cults and giant monsters in it. What more do you need?! Ness is a book that won’t just grab your attention, it will wrap its gruesome tentacle around you and never let you go. BACK IT.” – Barney, The Awesome Comics Podcast @AwesomePod
“Beautifully visualised by the art team of Rob Carey and Dee Cunniffe, NESS pairs a striking sense of place with a lurking air of dread. An eerie, enigmatic slice of Caledonian Gothic.” –John Lees, of ‘…And Then Emily Was Gone’, ‘The Standard’ and ‘Quilte’.
“As with the brutally humbled vampire, recent attempts to domesticate Nessie have yielded ever-diminishing returns. Here at last is a truly monstrous Loch Ness Monster. Sweet dreams, backers!” – Alex Paknadel, writer of Turncoat and Arcadia (Boom!)
“Nessie appears to have moved to the Thames last week in an unfortunate turn of events, but fear not, this makes Ness no less relevant as a beautiful character-driven monster horror rollercoaster.” – Tom Ward, Merrick The Sensational Elephant Man
Early backer bonus: The first 50 physical backers will get a signed, doodled-on Kickstarter-exclusive NESS Bookplate on each copy they pick up.- ARGH, ALL GONE, SORRY!
Risks and challenges
This isn’t my first Kickstarter rodeo, but I know from experience how things can get a bit hectic.
So far I’ve successfully run (and delivered on) two campaigns for my main series WART, and one for the dinosaur-buddy-cop-surgical-drama DOC DINO. I’ve also been involved in the campaign for the horror anthology THE GRIME Issue One.
With that experience, I’m confident I can deliver Ness- Issue One in a timely fashion, as promised, with my usual high-standards in place.
The scripts are completed for each issue in the four-part series and Rob Carey is finishing the inks on Issue One as the campaign runs. Your money will go to colours, finishing the inks, lettering, printing, producing the Kickstarter prints and extras, Kickstarter’s fees, and postage. Any extra cash raised will go towards the Kickstarter for Issue Two, meaing a lower goal.
I’ve already put up my own cash to fund the completed preview and the majority of the inks, as well as the production of pin ups and extra artwork. I don’t anticipate getting this back, but I strongly believe the investment in this book was worth it.
If there are any hiccups along the way to production, I promise to take responsibility, keep everyone in the loop, and work hard to get this book finished and out there. Having said that, I don’t foresee any, unless one of the team is eaten by a giant sinister water-dwelling creature (or drowns whilst hunting one).